Real Madrid’s Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez attends a training session at Valdebebas sport city in Madrid on August 20, 2016. PHOTO: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP
Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez plunged his future into doubt by claiming he will decide in the next week whether to remain with the European champions in the January transfer window.
The Colombian joined Real for a reported 80 million euros from Monaco ($84 million) after starring as the top scorer at the 2014 World Cup.
However, after a fine debut campaign, Rodriguez has been marginalised in the past two seasons and was an unused substitute as Real won the Club World Cup with a 4-2 win over Japanese champions Kashima Antlers in Yokohama on Sunday.
“I have to be calm and I have seven days to be able to reflect on it,” Rodriguez told reporters after the final.
“I want to be here but sometimes things don’t work out. I have to think about it all and I can’t guarantee if I will stay or not because I want to play more.”
Rodriguez has started just four times in La Liga this season as Real have shot to the top of the table on a club record 37-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Since Zinedine Zidane took charge in January, the 25-year-old has fallen behind more unheralded names such as Lucas Vazquez, Isco, Casemiro and Marco Asensio for a place in Real’s midfield.
However, any exit may be complicated by the fact Real won’t be able to immediately replace him unless the Spanish giants’ appeal against a one-year transfer ban for irregularities in the signing of players under 18 is upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.